Christmas and New Year are just around the corner. We all love to spend this time of year with family and friends; overindulging on goodies such as BBQ’s, roasts, chocolate and plum pudding just to name a few.

We know your fur babies will be right by your side during the festivities, so we thought it was time for a reminder on potentially harmful foods, treats and hazards for your pet.

Christmas Decorations

Christmas trees are a wonderful reminder of the festivities ahead and decorating them can be fun for the whole family. To keep your tree pet-friendly, try following these tips:

  • Secure your tree – unbalanced trees can cause injuries to your pet
  • Protect from soil – don’t let pets eat the soil or water around your tree
  • Tinsel and decorations – cats and dogs love decorations, but chewing and playing can quickly turn into swallowing. This can lead to vomiting, dehydration, gastrointestinal obstruction and in the worst case, surgery. Ensure these ornaments are always out of reach
  • Wires and batteries – keep these out of reach too! Chewed batteries can lead to burns of the mouth and oesophagus
  • Wrapped presents – any food under your tree can be sniffed out and snacked on late at night, meaning potential distress or sickness for your pet and disappointment for young children too!

What’s Off the Table?

There will be lots of delicious food on the table this time of year and whilst it is tempting to give these to your pet, prevention is better than cure! Here are some common examples of household toxins.

  • Chocolate – containing the toxic ingredients theobromine and caffeine, eating chocolate can lead to serious illness in your pet, including vomiting diarrhoea, and even seizures, heart abnormalities and death
  • Anything sweet – fine for you maybe, but artificial sweeteners can lead to vomiting, depression, low blood sugar level and liver damage. Some peanut butters even contain xylitol.
  • Grapes, raisins and sultanas – these fruits can be toxic and lead to kidney damage. Signs may include depression, vomiting, diarrhoea, reduced appetite and kidney failure,
  • Macadamia nuts – can lead to weakness or paralysis of the limbs, gastrointestinal signs, lethargy, and muscle tremors
  • Leftovers fatty foods, bones or spicy foods – many of these foods e.g. sausages, can lead to an upset stomach or pancreatitis
  • Onion, garlic and chives – these can lead to stomach upset and damage to the red blood cells

Thankfully there are safe treat options to feed to your pet this Christmas. These include:

  • Pigs ears
  • Raw hide chews
  • Greenies
  • Hill’s Metabolic treats

If your pet has special dietary needs or is on a prescription diet, please ask our friendly team to discuss suitable treats for them too!

Christmas Plants to Avoid

Christmas plants might look and smell wonderful to us, but for a curious pet these festive plants can be dangerous:

  • Mistletoe and Holly – these can lead to gastrointestinal upset and Mistletoe can also lead to heart problem
  • Lilies – all lilies can lead to kidney failure in cats if ingested (any part of the plant, flower, pollen, or plant water).
  • Poinsettia – this beautiful plant is synonymous with Christmas but it also toxic to both dogs and cats. It can lead to irritation of the mouth and stomach, sometimes leading to vomiting.

You can check plants and flowers that are safe for your pets here.